What We Can Do Today, For Fukushima and Japan of 20 Years from Now (October 20, 2012 LFA Test Driving Event)

One year and seven months have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake.

We consider tangible material and financial support to be very important, however, we also believe it important to support the development of human resources with an eye to the future 10 and 20 years from now. With such thoughts in mind, volunteers of TOYO SYSTEM invited students of local technical high schools, universities and technical colleges, who had experienced the earthquake, to a Lexus LFA Test Driving Event on Saturday, October 20.

Toyota Motor Corporation cooperated with the event by staging a lecture, lending four LFA cars and assigning professional drivers.

There were also very generous offers of help from people saying that they or their wives were natives of Fukushima Prefecture.

Similarly, Akebono Brake Industry Company, Limited let us use its test course and a mobile display vehicle that conveys the mechanism and importance of brakes. Akebono Brake Industry initially said that it couldn’t lend the test course until December 8 because it was still undergoing repairs after suffering massive damage in the earthquake, however, it gave its full cooperation with understanding for the purpose of the event.

All this was done for the solely for the sake of the children… This event was inspired by the desire to give dreams, hope and courage to children who had been traumatized by the earthquake disaster. Refusing to stop with this event, we will continue to implement such activities from now on, in the hope that they will provide a template for similar activities to spread to other areas and boost the recovery effort.


Speech by Mr. Haruhiko Tomohashi, Chief Engineer of Product Planning, Lexus International, Toyota Motor Corporation ~ The Story of LFA Development ~


Mr. Tomohashi, who is the creator of the LFA, gave a valuable talk about the development of the LFA at Iwaki Washington Hotel.
The LFA was developed 12 years ago in 2000 out of the desire to “develop a super sports car that Japan can boast to the rest of the world”. Representing the pinnacle of manufacturing prowess, there are only 500 such cars in the world, of which only 165 are in Japan.
The LFA was developed with the objective of pursuing the realm of vehicular sensation and wonder to the limit and becoming a messenger for conveying the wonder of cars to the children who will drive the future.
Mr. Tomohashi shared unknown episodes from the early development and talked about how the LFA was completed following a series of failures and disappointments. The children who listened to the talk no doubt sensed the appeal of manufacturing and the importance of taking on challenges without fear of failure.




Speech by Mr. Haruhiko Tomohashi, Chief Engineer of Product Planning, Lexus International, Toyota Motor Corporation ~ The Story of LFA Development ~


The venue was then moved to the test course of Akebono Brake Industry Company, Limited to conduct test driving of the LFA. Presented with the opportunity to ride in a car that few people ever get the chance to drive, the children’s expressions lit up. Having experienced the drive, the children shared their impressions with their friends as follows: “It was like nothing I’ve experienced before”, “I will never forget that experience for the rest of my life”, “The powerful sound produced by the car was amazing”, “I want to connect this experience to the future”, “When I grow up, I want to be an adult who can buy a car like the LFA” and so on.
Also, there was a car hazard and safety corner where the children gained firsthand experience of Antilock Braking System (ABS) experiments, took eye tests, went test driving in electric vehicles, and learned about the mechanism of brakes. We believe the way in which children grow from now on, and the way in which we adults pass things on to future generations, are important.